Some Thoughts on the 2016 Election
by Yashodhara Varma
The road to the 2016 US Presidential Election has been a long one, and we still have a way to go. Several candidates on both sides of the race have dropped out. There have been numerous upsets in both parties.
Regarding the Democratic race, I would say that both sides need to use caution when claiming a voter from the other side is sexist. Some Hilary Clinton supporters say that women Bernie Sanders supporters are sexist because they are voting for men, and some Sanders supporters say that women Clinton supporters are only voting for her because she is a woman.
Generally, however, I encourage you to look at both track record and policies. What a candidate says and what the media says about them is only half the story. As is often the case, actions speak louder than words. When we enter the general election, it is imperative that you look past party lines. Again, look for a record of action.
If you are in a position to vote, VOTE! Voter abstinence, in my opinion, does little. Many people throughout history have likely fought for your right to vote, and many people who should be eligible to vote are unable to (see: voter ID restrictions). If you are apathetic, at least vote for these people. Remember ultimately that your voice is heard. While no candidate is perfect (and that’s a given), no one is helped when you choose not to vote.
Remember that the Presidential election is important, but a lot of legislation is written at the state level. Take time to vote for members of state congress as well.
Remember that this is not the only current issue. While a lot of media attention focuses around the presidential election, it is important to take time to read about other issues. As is often the case with important election cycles, other information is brushed aside or ignored.
Lastly, get involved. No matter what political party, there is always a need for volunteers, whether it is to phone-bank or canvas. In your own home and community, you can always make your voice known by writing letters to local newspaper and magazine editors, writing for a school newspaper, starting a club, and voicing your opinions on social media. Any method of outreach is important.